Meet the Member – Bob Mack

Name and where you live?

Hello my name is Bob Mack and has been for a very long time. I have lived in Wantage, Oxfordshire, for about 40 years.

What is/was your day job?

I’m now happily retired and have been for the last 5 years. My entire working life was spent in the refrigeration industry. It seemed to me that cooling things, in one form or another, would always be in demand. In addition to that I served as a retained fire fighter for 34 years and retired from that 7 years ago.. When I joined, the Fire Brigade, it really was a voluntary occupation but these days it’s part time employment.

How long have you been riding?

On the road, 52 years. I passed my test on a Vespa scooter a few days after my 16thbirthday, as you could in those days. I’d been riding about on the unclassified roads, around where I lived, for quite a few years before that, on other people’s bikes, with their permission of course.

Vespa Scooter! Not actually this one but near identical.

What was your first bike?

My parents wouldn’t let me have a motorcycle but considered scooters to be slow and safe. But in reality scooters are bikes so it was the Vespa 125. It really was a bit slow but it was transport and independence. I bought a non runner Lambretta LI 150 fitted a 175cc barrel, piston, carb and exhaust. It went well and served me until I’d passed my car test.

Tell us about your current bike.

I have three at the moment. A 2008 R1200RTwhich Ann finds most comfortable as a passenger, a 2008 R1200GSA which I tend to use on my own as it’s most fun to ride and a Honda Deauville 650 which is for winter use. We have used the GSA for touring, on occasions but the RT is our preferred choice for touring. The Honda is worth more as spares than a running machine so is the perfect tool for riding about on in the winter salt and goo. It gets a dose of ACF50 before winter and bath once a year in the spring.

R1200RT (2008), in the Algarve 2013, before we moved on to La Franca and met up with the Spanish holiday group.

When/how did you join the BMW Club? 

Can’t remember when but probably 2002. The reason I joined, originally, was to take advantage of the tool hire section. Then I found the Oxford Section Social scene.

Can you share a favourite route that you have ridden or a memorable trip you have made?  

My favourite route, in the UK, is one that I use to test bikes out on and to take people who want to follow me for the first time. Loosely speaking it’s Wantage, Hungerford, Wroughton, Avebury Marlborough, Hungerford and back home. Abroad it has to be riding up to Mount Teide, in Tenerife and back.

One memorable trip would be when we rode down to Portugal, from Santander, through Spain. Then after 7 nights stay we rode back up to La Franca to meet up with Oxford Section Members and explore the Picos for 5 days. Rob and Marion took us on some beautiful rides up in the mountains.

For you, what’s the best thing about being a motorcyclist?

Simple really. As a motorcyclist I can have more machines to play with due to the fact they take up less room than cars.

And are there any downsides?

Previously I’d have said Ice and the fact that the cold eventually gets through in the winter on long journeys. Heated clothing has sorted out keeping warm so now it’s just that I won’t risk riding about when it’s icy.

If money and or time weren’t an issue, what would be your ideal trip or what would be your perfect bike?

I have never had an ideal trip in mind but quite fancy riding across Europe and taking the bike over to Tenerife, by ferry, for the winter.

Tenerife, it’s always warm, here, during our winter. Perfect motorcycling roads.

Having ridden a supercharged sports tourer, recently, I would include a supercharged engine in the list of requirements. 

Apart from Motorcycling, what are your other interests?

Since retiring from work, 5 years ago, I live the dream as they say. In my case it means having the freedom to holiday, socialise, explore, carry out household chores and maintenance when it suits us rather than work around an employer. As far as interests go it’s anything mechanical and outdoors.

In the past my main interests centred around racing all sorts of 4 wheel and 2 wheel things.


Author: bobmack70